100 & Single: fun., Gotye, M83, EDM, And The Beginning Of The Hot 100's Spotify Years

The top three songs on Spotify, March 20, 2012. "Young" is at No. 1 on the Hot 100; "Know" is at No. 5; and "Came" is at No. 4.
How do you know when you're at the dawn of a new pop era?

It's not like someone sends a memo. Sure, occasionally there's a well-timed cultural event that offers a hint—the disastrous Altamont festival in December 1969, which signaled that the flower-power dream was over, or Comiskey Park's Disco Demolition Night in July 1979, which warned that dance music's days were numbered, at least with middle-American dudes. But even bright temporal lines like these only seem significant in retrospect, and they don't actually change the sound of young America overnight.

The same goes for the Billboard charts, the Dow Jones Industrial Average of pop. Occasionally you get a No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 that feels like a revolution instantly. Or there's a blockbuster album that feels like a generational torch passing.

This week, the song sitting on top the Hot 100 doesn't necessarily sound like a revolution. But from its title on down, "We Are Young," the soaring, Janelle MonĂ¡e-assisted rock anthem by emo-pomp band fun, wants to be generational. Two weeks ago, fun. rampaged their way to the summit thanks to a pileup of digital sales. For each of the last two weeks, "We Are Young" has topped the very healthy sum of 300,000 downloads; it's the only song to roll that many weekly downloads in 2012, let alone do it twice.

More »

News Roundup: Surfjan Stevens Announces Intimate Tour, Lollapalooza, Them Crooked Vultures, Mike Seeger Dies

--Sufjan Stevens has announced an intimate fall tour. In what Asthmatic Kitty Records are calling an "east-of-Lake-Minnetonka tour," the run focuses on eastern states, kicking off September 21st at Philly's 250-capacity Johnny Brenda's. Stevens wraps the tour with four New York dates: October 4th and 5th at the Bowery Ballroom, and October 6th and 7th at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg. California indie labelmates Cryptacize will join Stevens on several dates. Tickets go on sale Saturday. To avoid scalpers, you'll need to pick up tickets at will call the night of the show with a photo ID. Check Asthmatic Kitty's site for more details.

--Lollapolooza wrapped up last night with headlining sets from The Killers and Jane's Addiction. Jane's played a dozen songs, including a take on "Jane Says" with guest Joe Perry (Perry's band just postponed their Canadian tour). Tool played an All Points West-similar Saturday set, full of glowsticks and creepy stage videos. The same day, the Yeah Yeah Yeah's set saw Karen O take the stage in a crown constructed of cardboard human hands. After Lollapalooza died down last night, the Josh Homme/Dave Grohl/John Paul Jones supergroup Them Crooked Vultures made their live debut with a sold out gig at Chicago's Metro. The Chicago Tribune reports the band played an 80 minute set of all-original heavy rock.

More »

Wilco's Album-Leak Damage Control: "Everyone Was Talking About Us!"

I have tremendous sympathy for bands whose new records leak months prior to their release dates, perhaps borne of a vivid, unpleasant memory of a 2006 Shins CMJ gig wherein all the stage banter was them moaning, in an unconvincingly jocular manner, about the recent inadvertent Internet unveiling of Wincing the Night Away, an example cited in Douglas Wolk's outstanding Spin piece on such piracy. So while Wilco (The Album), street date June 30. made for lovely afternoon listening yesterday (it leaked, so they streamed it on their site for free), man, that's a shit sandwich.

The upside, apparently: People sure did Twitter about Wilco a lot yesterday!

More »